Nicolas Chartier's LA-basedsales agency Voltage Pictures has acquired worldwide sales rights to George ARomero's Diary Of The Dead, thelatest film in Romero's Dead series,which is scheduled to begin shooting on Oct 11, 2006.

The film has been written byRomero and is being produced by Romero-Grunwald Productions and Artfire Films,the latter of which is fully financing. Peter Grunwald, Sam Englebardt andArtur Spigel are producing, with Dan Fireman and John Harrison acting asexecutive producers.

Diary Of The Dead follows a group of film students struggling to gethome amidst the chaos and terror of a zombie outbreak who create a first-personvideo "diary" during their encounters with the undead.

The film is Romero's firstindependent zombie film in over two decades and returns to the cinemaverite-style horror which Romero pioneered on classics such as Night Of TheLiving Dead. The story opens withthe students making a horror movie in the woods, hence their access to acamera.

"I've been hoping for a longtime now to return to the kind of independent filmmaking that I did at thebeginning of my career, and Diary of the Dead offers me the perfect opportunity to do that," saidRomero in a statement.

His last Dead film, Land Of The Dead in 2005 was a $15m production released by UniversalPictures domestically and in several other territories. Universal also remadeRomero's 1978 classic Dawn Of The Dead with Zach Snyder directing in 2004 and grossed $59m.

"Diary of the Dead is George's chance to go home again, to revisit hisroots as a filmmaker, using today's technology to reimagine his approach to theliving dead," said Peter Grunwald, Romero's producing partner.

Artfire is a production andfinancing company founded by Spigel and Fireman with credits including Canneshit Paris Je T'Aime, StuartGordon's Edmond and DavidCronenberg's planned film of London Fields.

Voltage was launched in 2005by Chartier and producer Dean Devlin and is currently handling Flyboys which is released domestically by MGM on Sept 22 andToronto world premiere El Cantatestarring Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez.